iep train

The UK Government has agreed a £2.7bn deal to build a new fleet of trains that will operate on East Coast rail line to boost passenger services between London and Scotland.

The contract marks a major step forward in the transformation of rail travel on the key intercity route between London and Scotland.

Awarded as part of the government’s £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme (IEP), the new contract covers manufacture of 497 new Class 800 trains agreed with Agility Trains, a consortium of Hitachi Rail Europe and John Laing.

"The new Class 800 trains will provide 19% more seats on each train, reduced journey times between London, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh by up to 15 minutes, and improved reliability."

Of the total 866 carriages to be built under the IEP, the remaining 369 carriages will start operations on the Great Western line from 2017.

UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the new trains will transform rail travel between many of the great towns and cities of England and Scotland ‘creating jobs and breathing new life into the UK’s train-building industry’.

Scheduled to enter operational service from 2018, the new Class 800 trains will provide significant benefits to passengers, with 19% more seats on each train, reduced journey times between London, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh by up to 15 minutes, and improved reliability.

The new carriages will be manufactured at Hitachi Rail Europe’s factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, north-east England.

Hitachi will also construct maintenance depots at sites including Bristol and Doncaster, and is also contracted to refurbish and upgrade depots across the Great Western and East Coast Main Lines.


Image: Intercity Express Programme train. Photo: Gov.UK/Department for Transport.